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Guardian of Virtue

I have been a big fan of Sister Elaine Dalton since I heard her talk, “A Return to Virtue”.

I was touched by a story she told about watching her infant granddaughter being blessed, surrounded by the power of the priesthood. She prayed “…that every young woman might be encircled, strengthened, and protected by righteous priesthood power, not only at the time of birth and blessing but throughout life.”

Sister Dalton then called on those who hold the priesthood to be, “the guardians of virtue.”

That resonated with me and I felt the responsibility I have as a husband, father, and priesthood holder. I resolved to be a guardian of virtue. I’m very serious about that and it seems to me that many other men I know—young and old—also feel this responsibility seriously and are stepping up to the plate.

That is a welcome development, I think, one I want to celebrate. I thought about getting some really cool body armor for all the guardians to wear. However, the editors of MMB wouldn’t allow me to put it on my expense account. I thought about t-shirts, but aesthetics and common courtesy forbid men with my physique from wearing t-shirts.

Finally, I decided that this would make a perfect radio show—the adventures of the Guardians of Virtue—men trying to honor virtue in a smutty world.

So, welcome to the first installment of GUARDIANS OF VIRTUE (When it’s in all caps, like that, imagine an announcer saying it in a deep, echo-y, hero sort of voice) -

- in which our hero, a mild mannered middle school theatre director, tries to make his living while upholding his responsibility as a:


(Cue theme song)

Announcer: When last we saw our hero, he was mild-manneredly preparing his 12 and 13 year-old students for their coming performance of a major Broadway musical.

Hero: All right everyone. The performance of our major Broadway musical is coming soon…

Narrator: Suddenly, our hero hears a buzz in the room and giggles in the hall. One of the actresses, an 8th grader, walks in, followed by her mother and several other giggling girls. The actress strikes a “ta-da pose” and her mom says,

Mother: What do you think of this for her costume?

Narrator: Our hero looks up in horror. He is appalled and, honestly, embarrassed. The dress is way too low on top, way too high below, and way too tight all over. He looks away, feeling that he cannot look at this student in this dress and still be a decent man, let alone a GUARDIAN OF VIRTUE.

Our hero is normally a good-humored, mostly mellow guy at school. He likes to get along with everyone and not make waves. Moreover, he is friends with this mother.

What will he do?

Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion. Will our hero take the easy road, or will he stand strong and be a


(Theme music)

To Be Continued


Braden Bell grew up in Farmington, Utah and earned degrees in theatre from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from New York University. He and his wife, Meredith live with their five children outside of Nashville, TN, where he teaches theatre and music. Braden enjoys reading, writing, gardening and long walks with the dog. His first book, The Road Show, will be released by Cedar Fort in June of 2010. Read more at

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